Last August, FCA and its Ram division did the unthinkable. At a time when most automakers tend to enter the market with electrified vehicles, Ram arrives with the most powerful pickup truck produced to date: the Ram 1500 TRX. And there isn’t an ounce of ecological consideration in the design of this absolutely insane vehicle.
While it is well known that the combustion engine automobile in an equally extreme form will not exist in perpetuity, it is with a sense of nostalgia that the Car guide traveled to Wellington, Ontario to try out this new variant of the Ram 1500.
Over 700 horsepower
By first unveiling Hellcat versions of its Challenger and Charger, FCA captured the imagination. No less than 707 horsepower were then reserved for this imposing coupe and this radical American sedan. Although a major part of the industry is moving towards a greener market than ever, FCA has yet won its bold bet, to say the least. Seeing the success, the manufacturer had the brilliant idea to apply the recipe to other products of the brand such as the Grand Cherokee and the Durango. This time it’s the family’s full-size pickup truck to receive the Hellcat treatment.
Indeed, under the hood of this most recent version of the Ram 1500 which bears the name TRX nests a supercharged V8 Hemi of 6.2 L. Its power and torque are 702 hp and 650 lb-ft, respectively. At the wheel of this monster, you never lack power. The starts are lightning and the resumes are phenomenal. And for that, we must thank the eight-speed automatic transmission which shines with its efficiency. It is lively, precise and it retrogrades as soon as we want it. The designers fitted the TRX with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters, but these are completely unnecessary.
In the 2021 auto market, the Ram 1500 TRX is as well regarded as the one cooking himself a steak in front of a crowded vegetarian crowd. But no matter who is in front of you, a steak is a steak. And it’s good. And no choice to admit that the TRX is fun. Yes, behind the wheel of a vehicle that shouts “I DESTROY THE PLANET” with each acceleration, the pleasure felt is indescribable. And that’s not to mention the roar of the V8 engine when starting or the whistle of the supercharger when it is the least bit called upon.
On-road and off-road performance
This is not the first time that this manufacturer has produced a performance-oriented full-size pickup truck. The Lil ‘Red Express and Ram SRT10 have, of course, been ahead of this mastodon whose three letters designating it are on everyone’s lips.
However, these two pickups of yesteryear, as extreme as they are, were designed for pure, hard straight-line performance. In the case of the TRX, FCA aimed to design a pickup truck that would deliver impressive performance both on and off the road. During this launch, we were able to discover its many prowess in the field: whether on a muddy surface or to make its way through rocks, the TRX is capable of taking them. And to prove it to us, the organizers of the event invited us to perform “jumps” from a hill at the wheel of the beast, just to see the ease with which it lands on its four legs – uh, wheels! – after the latter have briefly been in the air. Shocks and blows, he is able to absorb them. And that is thanks to its specially adapted Bilstein suspensions.
You will try this with your Hyundai Kona …
It is important to know that since it is equipped with a 4X4 system – we probably do not teach you anything – we do not find the wobbling or waddling of the rear end as is the case with the Charger and Challenger. which are also powered by this engine, but for which all of the power is channeled to the rear wheels. In other words, you don’t have to constantly fight with the vehicle to keep it on the road. It is thus many times more user-friendly for daily use.
A Ford F-150 Raptor that is no longer in the race
Prior to the arrival of the Ram 1500 TRX, the Ford F-150 Raptor was the only pickup truck geared towards on-road and off-road performance since neither Chevrolet nor GMC offered direct competition. If in the past the Raptor shone, also with its absolutely stunning offer with its 6.2L V8 engine, one has the impression that it has calmed down with the transition from the first to the second generation of the model. . In doing so, it is now powered by a 3.5L EcoBoost V6. With the 450 horsepower and 510 pound-feet it develops, it is well behind its new competitor. Until rumors of the next Raptor powered by the mechanics of the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 materialize, FCA’s newest addition to the lineup should take a considerable slice of the pie.
If you’ve read this far, you might imagine the Ram 1500 TRX is drunk. A drunkard like there are tons of it nowadays. While Natural Resources Canada has not disclosed the fuel consumption ratings for this new model, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced a rating of 19.6 L / 100 km. For your information, the on-board computer displayed 24.7 L / 100 km after having covered the 200 kilometers of our test. Of course, eco-driving was not on the menu during this day. Besides, with 702 horses just waiting to gallop under the right foot, it’s very difficult to drive like a priest.
An equally insane price
While the TRX was to be expected to gobble up gallons of fuel without any restraint, it is also to be expected to leave an arm and a leg when it comes time to sign the purchase contract. In its base version with the TR1 package, the Ram 1500 TRX starts at $ 93,995. As for the version with the TR2 package, it is priced at $ 98,990. And that’s without adding options like the tire rack in the box ($ 995), Beadlock wheels $ 1,795), the Rambar ($ 1,995), red accents in the cabin ($ 1,495) and the carbon fiber package ($ 1,695). If you’re at a loss for what to do with your money, the Ram 1500 TRX can be an interesting avenue. For reference only, the Ford F-150 Raptor starts at $ 76,699.
Radical, powerful, gluttonous and anachronistic, the Ram 1500 TRX has everything to stir up passions. And this, at a time when the automobile sometimes tends a little too much to forget what passion is … One thing is certain, it is very difficult not to have a real crush on this machine which, in the end, no one really needs.